Morgan carves up Clinton as Lady Vikes earn comeback victory

Published 9:39 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

Abby Morgan pitches. She hits. She slices, dices and juliennes opponents with ease.

The Warren Central senior went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs, and rolled up 14 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings pitched to lead the Lady Vikes to a come-from-behind 11-4 victory over Clinton on Friday night.

Kayleigh Karel also had four RBIs, and Zion Harvey was 3-for-3 with three runs scored for the Lady Vikes (11-9) beat Clinton for the third time in a row. They had lost 23 consecutive games against Clinton over a 12-year span before the current streak.

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Morgan moved to the pitcher’s circle in the first inning after starter Madison Pant struggled. Morgan gave up two singles and a walk to the first three batters she faced as Clinton took a 4-0 lead, but then went into lockdown mode.

Morgan struck out seven consecutive batters and retired 13 in a row. She didn’t give up another hit until Madison Nelson singled with one out in the seventh inning.

Morgan’s pitching allowed Warren Central to overcome its early deficit. Kayleigh Karel drove in two runs with a sacrifice fly in the third inning to cut it to 4-3, and Morgan’s solo homer in the fifth tied it.

In the sixth, the Lady Vikes used five walks — four of them with the bases loaded — and three hits to take an 9-4 lead. Morgan contributed to that rally, too, with an RBI single.

The Lady Vikes tacked on two more runs in the seventh inning to win going away. Clinton’s pitchers walked 10 batters in the game.

Warren Central won for the fourth time in five games. It will go on the road again Saturday to play Richland at noon. After that, it has two region games Tuesday at home vs. Pearl and April 6 at Northwest Rankin. The latter two are scheduled to start at 6:15 p.m.